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A bench warrant could be issued for the arrest of some 56 persons, who are facing a circuit court at Nsuta in the Ashanti Region for breaking COVID-19 rules.
At a first court appearance on Friday, July 10, 2020, only one out of the 57 accused persons, who had been admitted to bail, appeared before the court.
Trial judge, Mr Kwaku Ansah, warned that he would order the police for their arrest should they fail to appear before him at the next adjourned date.
He, consequently, adjourned sitting to July 17, 2020. The plea of Jessica Osei, the only accused person who made it in court was not taken by the judge.
Reasons for their absence in the court was not immediately known.
The 57 persons were arrested by the Municipal Police Command at Asante/Mampong in the Ashanti Region earlier this week, for flouting COVID-19 rules.
According to the police, people in the Municipality continue to violate COVID-19 safety protocols despite the continuous sensitisation by authorities.
As Ghana’s COVID-19 cases continue to increase, the Asante Mampong Municipality has a total of 39 confirmed cases so far.
Police in the area have also intensified enforcement of the measures to get residents to comply.
Municipal Police Commander, Superintendent Stephen Boadu, said persons who flout the rules will not go unpunished.
“We mounted a search at the Mampong Township and we picked 38 people; 26 males and 12 females. Yesterday, we continued the same operation and we picked up 19 people; five females and 14 males,” he had told Dailymailgh.com in a telephone interview.
He urged residents to adhere to the safety protocols to prevent further spread of the virus.
“The message I have for the community is that COVID-19 is real and so let’s all try to ensure that we don’t infect others or infect ourselves,” the Police Chief said.
About the new Executive Instrument (E.I)
The new E.I. makes it mandatory for people to wear face masks, face shields or any other face covering that covers his or her nose and mouth completely when the person is in public or leaving or returning to his place of abode.
Police are also given authority to make random checks to ensure compliance.
According to paragraph 4(2) of E.I. 164, any person who fails to comply with the mandatory wearing of nose masks shall be punished in accordance with Section 6 of Act 1012.
Per Section 6 of Act 1012, “a person who fails to comply with the restrictions imposed under the Executive Instrument issued under subsection 1 of Section 2 commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than 1,000 penalty units (GH¢12,000) and not more than 5,000 penalty units (GH¢60,000) or to a term of imprisonment not less than four years and not more than 10 years or to both.”
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